The National Disability Rights Network, in collaboration with Foundations for Divergent Minds and the John Hopkins’ Disability Health Research Center, is proud to present Decoding Discrimination! Designed to identify discriminatory phrases that have appeared in policies/practices/patient notes throughout the pandemic, this two-part series seeks to gather and share information on how both common and coded language can be used to deprioritize people of color with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Session 1 of the series was a roundtable discussion focused on information gathering. We invited self-advocates, healthcare representatives and civil/disability rights attorneys to help us identify and understand how words are weaponized against people with disabilities. This first session concentrated on collecting words/phrases that have caused harm by effectively denying people of color with disabilities equitable access to COVID-related medical care.
Incorporating feedback from Session 1, a plain language resource was created and revealed during Session 2. The resource consists of a brief list of discriminatory phrases, plain language translations and suggested intervention strategies for self-advocates. Lastly, Session 2 featured a panel discussion where participants learned from our collaborators precisely how the resource can serve as a practical tool in support of present and future advocacy efforts.